Chicken with Cherry Tapenade over Creamy Pancetta Polenta
Tina Hoban - Bellingham
4 Foster Farms chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup + 3 tbls dried sweet Washington Cherries
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 tsp capers, drained
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbls olive oil, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 slices pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup instant polenta
3.5 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese)
2 tbls fresh rosemary, minced
Prepare tapenade by placing in the bowl of a food processor the garlic, 1/2 cup cherries, olives, capers, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
Slice the chicken breast lengthwise along the longest side, being careful not to cut all of the way through. Spread 1/4 of the tapenade inside each breast and fold closed. Sprinkle chicken with one teaspoon salt and the pepper; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pancetta pieces until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Place chicken breasts in pan and cook, turning, about 7 minutes per side, or until cooked throughout. During the last two minutes of cooking, add the three tablespoons of dried cherries and wine to the pan.
While the chicken is cooking, bring 4 cups of water and remaining salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to low; slowly whisk in polenta. Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 10 minutes. Add goat cheese, rosemary and reserved pancetta; stir until creamy.
Spoon polenta onto plate and top with chicken breast half. Drizzle with pan juice sauce and cherries.